Matt Reinhard Discusses Bourke Case on FCPA Blog

“Why Didn't Bourke Know?”
11.17.09The article features Matt Reinhard’s previous post on the White Collar Crime Prof Blog about the sentencing of Frederic Bourke and his chances on appeal. Asked about issues Bourke’s lawyers might use on appeal, Reinhard said, “Judge Scheindlin issued a series of important rulings surrounding the "local law" defense contained in the FCPA. The court rejected Bourke's argument that the payments were permissible under local Azeri law because they were the product of extortion , concluding that the initial payments were not lawful, only that the Azeri law in question allowed a person to avoid prosecution for payments obtained through extortion. The court concluded that the affirmative defense was not available to Bourke where, as here, local prosecution was avoided due to a "technicality" or a local law that otherwise relieved a person of criminal liability. It will be interesting to see if Bourke's lawyers press this issue further on appeal.”
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